What was that phrase that Wirral Council bandied about to absolve themselves of any responsibility when the much heralded Stella Shiu/ Peel Group Wirral Waters International Trade Centre sank without trace ? – Ah! yes , they’d undertaken “due diligence” .
“That’s a first” trilled Her Ladyship.
Based on subsequent events we can only presume “due diligence” didn’t include Googling Shiu to get some useful background information!.
Consequently we’ve been asked whether we have any info about Wirral Council’s “preferred development partner” for the proposed Hoylake Golf Resort – Nicklaus Joint Venture Group Limited – and exactly what is Jack Nicklaus’ role in the scheme.
From what we’ve discovered so far it seems to us that Nicklaus has licensed his name and Skyped a message over from the States praising Hoylake’s famous micro-climate . Hoylake has a micro-climate – who knew? . Judging by this week’s weather we can only presume he means golf ball size hailstones in late April.
So we thought we’d find out about the big hitters who Wirral Council are investing so much hope in and check out the Nicklaus Joint Venture Group Limited (NJVG) at Companies House.
It was less than reassuring to see that the big hitters behind the venture have invested an underwhelming £1,000 in the company. Of the 1000 shares -a mere 50 quids worth are owned by Nicklaus Design LLC.
However this is an entirely sensible approach as potential investors obviously need reassuring that the not inconsiderable obstacles of planning and conservation regulations in general and those relating to the Green Belt in particular can be overcome.
At least the people behind NJVG seem to have a track record of undertaking such a project when they set up the Pentre Nicklaus Village over a decade ago.
What is also apparent is that the Hoylake Golf Resort proposals seem to very much follow the pattern of Pentre Nicklaus Village project which incorporated a housing development alongside a golf course.
Indeed it seems that the only way of making the Hoylake Golf Resort project viable is by building 150+ luxury homes on Green Belt land. With Wirral Council having already spent an estimated £275,000 on consultants trying to make this scheme stack up it would seem that they think this is a sacrifice worth making. This all begs the question as to whether the real aim (and moneyspinner) here is the housing development and whether the golf resort is the means of achieving that aim.